Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro gets NICE approval for type 2 diabetes after cost-effectiveness review

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Eli Lilly’s diabetes medication, Mounjaro (tirzepatide), has been on a winning streak since its US launch in May, and now it’s poised for a significant boost in the United Kingdom.

England’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has given its green light to Mounjaro for the treatment of poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes in adults, when combined with diet and exercise. This approval means that the drug will be accessible through the country’s National Health Service (NHS).

NICE highlighted that approximately 90% of the 5 million diabetes patients in the UK have Type 2 diabetes, with the majority struggling to control their condition using current treatments. Inadequate diabetes control can lead to severe complications such as kidney disease, vision problems, and cardiovascular issues.

NICE arrived at its decision after reviewing evidence demonstrating that Mounjaro can significantly reduce blood sugar levels and body weight compared to Novo Nordisk’s popular GLP-1 medicine semaglutide, traditional insulin therapy, or a placebo.

It’s important to note that this approval represents a draft version of the final guidance, which will be published in full on October 11th. Following that, Mounjaro is expected to be accessible on NHS England within 90 days, subject to supply availability.

For Eli Lilly, this recent endorsement marks a significant win, particularly after a previous review by NICE did not yield the same conclusion. Initially, the agency recognized the potential of Mounjaro but declined coverage due to uncertainties surrounding Lilly’s data, economic modeling, and the medication’s long-term benefits.

Mounjaro is still in the early stages of its journey to blockbuster status. Analysts at UBS estimated potential peak sales at a staggering $25 billion, possibly making it one of the largest-selling drugs ever. In the last quarter alone, Mounjaro generated an impressive $979 million in revenue.

The drug’s next potential milestone is approval for obesity treatment, a designation that the US FDA fast-tracked in October of the previous year. In the UK, NICE is separately evaluating this indication and intends to publish its guidance in March after a committee meeting in January.

Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro continues to make waves in the diabetes treatment landscape, offering hope and improved outcomes for patients in the UK while solidifying its position as a rising star in the pharmaceutical world.

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